Book Review: Overseas by Beatriz Williams

Overseas Beatriz Williams- Overseas

 Format- Paperback

 Source- Review copy

 Publisher- Allen and Unwin

 Publication date- 2 July 2012

 Synopsis- A passionate, sweeping novel of a love that transcends time.

When twenty-something Wall Street analyst Kate Wilson attracts the notice of the legendary Julian Laurence at a business meeting, no one’s more surprised than she is. Julian’s relentless energy and his extraordinary intellect electrify her, but she’s baffled by his sudden interest. Why would this handsome British billionaire—Manhattan’s most eligible bachelor—pursue a pretty but bookish young banker who hasn’t had a boyfriend since college?

The answer is beyond imagining . . . at least at first. Kate and Julian’s story may have begun not in the moneyed world of twenty-first-century Manhattan but in France during World War I, when a mysterious American woman emerged from the shadows of the Western Front to save the life of Captain Julian Laurence Ashford, a celebrated war poet and infantry officer.

Now, in modern-day New York, Kate and Julian must protect themselves from the secrets of the past, and trust in a true love that transcends time and space.

 Review- Overseas is an intense, heated love affair that begins in France during World War I and is sustained until modern day Manhattan.

Comparable to The Time Traveller’s Wife, Overseas is set in two time periods, written in first person of the protagonist Kate, it provides insight into her early meeting with the mysteriously, charming and handsome Julian in another time and the romance that develops between them in the year of 1996-7.

Kate Wilson is a Wall Street analyst in up-market Manhattan, she’s independent and ambitious and completely unexperienced in love until the intimidating Julian Laurence steps into her path and it feels as though they already know each other.

An immediate attraction and the promise of sparks ends abruptly when Julian ends their relationship before it even starts. But not five months later, Julian saves her from a mugger while jogging in her neighbourhood and their fascination with each other is reignited. So begins an intense relationship where emotions are powerfully consuming and yet they hardly know each other- or so it seems. In between the present day are scenes where Kate is back in wartime France seeking out a younger Julian in the hope of saving his (future) life.

Julian is just so mysterious and initially I couldn’t work out what was happening, but as it began to fall into place- as the gaps between the past and present shrunk, I was hopeful that Kate and Julian would have a happily ever after. There’s a slow build-up of suspense as an unknown force is trying to drive the couple apart and potentially separate them forever.

I appreciate the character development exerted by the author portrayed via a dominance in dialogue and wasn’t at all limited by the first person viewpoint of Kate’s experience. I can’t say enough how intense this relationship is- Kate and Julian are so passionate, so gallant in their love for one another that I couldn’t help but be drawn in. They both have a distinct voice- Kate is very American and Julian is very English, complete with plenty of jolly, minx and darling discourse.

I should point out that this story won’t be for everyone. I am a hopeless romantic and am not aversive of a soppy love scene but even I experienced occasions when I felt like saying I know how much you love each other! as their discussions became repetitive and so too did Kate’s insecurity about her billionaire boyfriend. He hadn’t been with a woman for 12 years, why on earth would he cheat on her now?! But, if you do like powerful romantic stories with a touch of the supernatural, particularly if you are a fan of historical fiction then Overseas will likely appeal to you.

With a beautiful, uplifting ending, Williams’ has created a timeless, old-fashioned love story complete with a passionate heroine and a charismatic hero that will surely have you believing in eternal love!

4.5/5 rating

Purchase book @

Fishpond/ Amazon/ Book Depository UK/ Allen & Unwin

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